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In Search of Real Rigidities

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25

  • Gita Gopinath
  • Oleg Itskhoki

The closed and open economy literatures work on evaluating the role of real rigidities, but in parallel. This paper brings the two literatures together. We use international price data and exchange rate shocks to evaluate the importance of real rigidities in price setting. We show that consistent with the presence of real rigidities the response of reset-price inflation to exchange rate shocks depicts significant persistence. Individual import prices, conditional on changing, respond to exchange rate shocks prior to the last price change. At the same time aggregate reset-price inflation for imports, like that for consumer prices, depicts little persistence. Competitor prices affect firm pricing, and exchange rate pass-through into import prices is greater in response to trade-weighted as opposed to bilateral exchange rate shocks. We quantitatively evaluate sticky price models (Calvo and menu cost) with variable markups at the wholesale level and constant markups at the retail level, consistent with empirical evidence. Variable markups alone generate price sluggishness at the aggregate level, while they fall short of matching price persistence at the micro level. Finally, variable markups magnify the size of the contract multiplier, but their absolute effects are modest unless they are coupled with exogenous sources of persistence.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Daron Acemoglu & Michael Woodford, 2011. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number acem10-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12033.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12033
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
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    1. Nakamura, Emi & Zerom, Dawit, 2008. "Accounting for Incomplete Pass-Through," MPRA Paper 14389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gita Gopinath & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Nicholas Li, 2009. "Estimating the Border Effect: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 14938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jonathan L. Willis & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Real Rigidities and Nominal Price Changes," 2007 Meeting Papers 844, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Hellwig, Christian, 2007. "Prices and Market Shares in a Menu Cost Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 6504, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2009. "Reset price inflation and the impact of monetary policy shocks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Thierry Mayer & Philippe Martin & Nicolas Berman, 2010. "How do different exporters react to exchange rate changes? Theory, empirics and aggregate implications," 2010 Meeting Papers 1338, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Basu, S., 1993. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," Papers 93-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    8. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Rebecca Hellerstein, 2007. "A framework for identifying the sources of local currency price stability with an empirical application," Staff Reports 287, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    9. Gita Gopinath & Roberto Rigobon, 2008. "Sticky Borders," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 531-575, 05.
    10. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Richard Pomfret & Patricia Sourdin, 2010. "Why do trade costs vary?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 146(4), pages 709-730, December.
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